Nancy Lanza, 52, gunman’s mother
She was known before simply for the game nights she hosted and the holiday decorations she put up at her house. Now Nancy Lanza is known as her son’s first victim.
Authorities say Lanza’s 20-year-old son Adam gunned his mother down before killing 26 others at Sandy Hook. The two shared a home in a well-to-do Newtown neighborhood, but details were slow to emerge of who she was and what might have led her son to carry out such horror.
Kingston, N.H., Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said Nancy Lanza once lived in the community and was a kind, considerate and loving person. The former stockbroker at John Hancock in Boston was well-respected, Briggs said.
Court records show Lanza and her ex-husband, Peter Lanza, filed for divorce in 2008. He lives in Stamford and is a tax director at General Electric. A neighbor, Rhonda Cullens, said she knew Nancy Lanza from get-togethers she had hosted to play Bunco, a dice game. She said her neighbor had enjoyed gardening.
‘‘She was a very nice lady,’’ Cullens said. ‘‘She was just like all the rest of us in the neighborhood, just a regular person.’’
Catherine Hubbard, 6, student
A family friend turned reporters away from the house but Catherine’s parents released a statement expressing gratitude to emergency responders and for the support of the community.
‘‘We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy,’’ Jennifer and Matthew Hubbard said. ‘‘We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy.’’
Madeleine Hsu, 6, student
Dr. Matthew Velsmid was at Madeleine’s house on Saturday, tending to her stricken family. He said the family did not want to comment.
Velsmid said that after hearing of the shooting, he went to the triage area to provide medical assistance but there were no injuries to treat.
‘‘We were waiting for casualties to come out and there was nothing. There was no need unfortunately,’’ he said. ‘‘This is the darkest thing I've ever walked into by far.’’
Velsmid’s daughter, who attends another school, lost three of her friends.
Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie, Mark Scolforo, Allen Breed and Danica Coto contributed to this report.